Growing up in the….er…well, a while ago, people talked about trying to find themselves. They would go on hikes, visit communes, talk to spiritual (and pseudo-spiritual) leaders to gain guidance and find themselves and meaning in life. It was an age of rebellion as the young folks sought to forget what they had been taught. It was an age of conforming non-conformity as people sought to show their uniqueness by doing what everyone else was doing. Those were strange times and I am a product of those times. You figure out the rest of that.
When Jesus told parables people sought to find themselves in the parable. People still do that today. They read the parable of the sower, for instance, and try to figure out if they come from the path, the rocky ground, the thorn infested ground, or the good ground. Of course, most of us would immediately say that we were on the good ground – so we stop trying to find ourselves and start labeling other people. As I read the first verse of this parable, though, I think I find a better description of where we are. “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.” (Luke 8:5)
We are the farmer. We are the one sowing seed. Our job is not to judge the soils. Our job is not to be selective and picky about the seed we sow. Our job is to scatter that seed far and wide. The seed of course, is the word of God. Our message from the word of God is that Jesus forgives sin; that God seeks to extend grace and mercy to all people. Our message is the gospel. We sow that seed by proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ; of God’s mercy and forgiveness, and by meeting needs of the people we come into contact with. The results are not up to us – they are up to God. Our job is to sow the seed.
We are called to be faithful in sowing seed. The results belong to God. If we are faithful in sowing seed and, as the verse I used here shows, the seed falls in a place where it doesn’t take root, we have still succeeded in being faithful. If you have ever seen unused paths and roads, you know that in the long run, they become overgrown. The seed we sow today on the path may not yield any fruit, but the seed right next to the path may. It’s easy to lose heart when we don’t see the fruit. Take courage. Continue to be faithful. Continue to exhibit and proclaim the love and grace of our merciful Father. Trust Him to give the increase. Stay faithful my friends.
Lord God, we so want to see people come to know You because of our work in sowing Your word. Remind us that our call is to be faithful to You. Let our lives and our words reflect Your love and grace to a world in chaos. Use us to draw people to You as they seek to find order out of the chaos.